Eagles

Eagles' Josh Adams to miss start of spring after offseason surgery

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Eagles' Josh Adams to miss start of spring after offseason surgery

Josh Adams’ second NFL season isn’t getting off to a great start. 

The Notre Dame product, who was the Eagles’ leading rusher in 2018, had offseason shoulder surgery and will miss the beginning of offseason workouts, a league source confirmed to NBC Sports Philadelphia. NJ.com first reported the news. 

Adams, 22, is expected to be back for training camp in the summer. 

The Eagles’ offseason program begins today and OTAs begin in early May. 

When he does return this summer, Adams will be in a running back room with Jordan Howard, Corey Clement, Wendell Smallwood, Boston Scott and likely a running back from the 2019 draft class. Despite being the Eagles’ leading rusher in 2018, there’s no guarantee Adams even makes the roster in 2019. 

After going undrafted out of Notre Dame, the Eagles brought Adams into their building last year. He didn’t make the initial 53-man roster but was promoted during the season and eventually earned starting duties. But his usage tailed off late in the season and he was basically benched in the playoffs. He played just one offensive snap in the two playoff games. But, apparently, this injury was already bothering him. 

The problem for Adams is the addition of Howard, who figures to be the Eagles’ first- and second-down running back. Howard has been able to find the end zone 18 times in the last two seasons and is much better in short-yardage situations than Adams was as a rookie. 

Missing this time in the spring certainly won’t help Adams’ chances of making the team in 2019, but he still has that chance if he returns this summer and has a strong training camp. 

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Donovan McNabb ‘absolutely’ thinks he’s a Hall of Famer

Donovan McNabb ‘absolutely’ thinks he’s a Hall of Famer

Donovan McNabb doesn’t think it should even be a question. 

He should “absolutely” be in Hall of Fame. 

“And I’m not hesitating on that,” McNabb said to TMZ Sports. “I am a Hall of Famer. My numbers speak for [themselves].”

On a segment with TMZ Sports, McNabb was actually asked whether or not Giants quarterback Eli Manning is a Hall of Famer, to which McNabb replied, “I’m still here.” 

McNabb, 42, has a case. 

But for the 2019 class, McNabb was one of 102 nominees, but didn’t make the list of 25 semifinalists or, obviously, 15 finalists. No QBs made the list of semifinalists. 

McNabb last played in 2011 for the Vikings, capping off the end of his career with two subpar years with Washington and Minnesota. But he had 11 great years in Philly. 

“You look at my numbers, yeah, but they they want to add other stuff to it,” McNabb said. “‘Was he an All-Pro? Was he this? How many Super Bowl opportunities?’ People don’t realize how hard it is to get to the NFC Championship and get there five times and then make it to a Super Bowl, it’s tough.”

Well, let’s take a closer look:  

The case for McNabb

• His numbers are strong. He had 37,276 passing yards, 234 touchdowns, 117 interceptions and a passer rating of 85.6. He made sure to make that his main case with TMZ. 

“My numbers are better than Troy Aikman,” McNabb said, “but he has Super Bowl rings and he’s played with Hall of Famers as well.”

Although they really played in different eras, McNabb’s numbers are unquestionably better than those of Aikman, who was inducted into the HOF in 2006. Here are Aikman’s career numbers: 32,942 yards, 165 touchdowns, 141 interceptions, passer rating of 81.6. Believe it or not, McNabb also had a higher career winning percentage. But Aikman has three rings.

• McNabb won nine playoff games and made it to five NFC Championship games and one Super Bowl. He also has more QB wins that HOFers Troy Aikman, Len Dawson, Bart Starr, Steve Young, Bob Griese, Dan Fouts, Roger Staubach, Sonny Jergensen, Kurt Warner and Joe Namath. 

• McNabb was a six-time Pro Bowler and most of that was done with less-than-great receivers. He had Terrell Owens for a short time, but how many years did he have James Thrash and Todd Pinkston as his top targets? 

The case against McNabb 

• His numbers are good, but he’s one of 23 players who has thrown for that many yards and touchdowns. And all 23 aren’t Hall of Famers. Let’s look closer at the other 22 players on that list. 

Eight are in the Hall of Fame: Brett Favre, Dan Marino, John Elway, Warren Moon, Fran Tarkenton, Dan Fouts, Joe Montana, Johnny Unitas. 

Eight are still active: Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning, Phillip Rivers, Matt Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford. 

Six are retired and not in the Hall of Fame (yet): Peyton Manning, Carson Palmer, Vinny Testaverde, Drew Bledsoe, Dave Krieg, Boomer Esiason. 

• Sure, he made it to five NFC Championship games but McNabb was just 1-4 in those games. He made it to one Super Bowl and never won the big game. How do you weigh making it to five championship games vs. a guy like Jim Kelly, who made it to four Super Bowls and never won. 

• McNabb was never an All-Pro. Right or not, that plays into the thinking of many HOF voters. He was never an MVP; he finished second in MVP voting to Marshall Faulk in 2000. Was he ever the best quarterback in the league? 

There are definitely cases to be made on both sides. Are McNabb’s numbers good enough to get him in despite never winning the big game? That’s probably going to be the real question. For a guy like Marino, his numbers emphatically said yes. McNabb’s numbers aren’t that good. But then you can look at guys like Warren Moon and think, “Well, if he’s in…” 

McNabb is hoping having teammates Owens and Brian Dawkins in the Hall of Fame might help his case. Maybe it does, maybe it doesn't. 

In 2021, Peyton Manning will be eligible for the HOF, and he’ll go in immediately. And then, depending how you feel about Carson Palmer, there’s going to be a lull for a few years before the big wave comes. Those guys — Brees, Brady, Rivers, Rodgers, Roethlisberger, etc. — all have better numbers than McNabb. Sure, the game has changed, but if McNabb wants to get in the Hall of Fame, he’s probably going to need to do it before that group becomes eligible. 

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What OTAs tell us about Jordan Mailata and Halapoulivaati Vaitai

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What OTAs tell us about Jordan Mailata and Halapoulivaati Vaitai

It was easy to see the Andre Dillard selection as a blow to Jordan Mailata.

Here’s Mailata, just coming off his rookie season, thinking he had a chance to move past Halapoulivaati Vaitai and became the Eagles’ No. 3 tackle behind Jason Peters and Lane Johnson.

Next thing you know, they draft an offensive tackle in the first round.

Just like that, conventional wisdom said Mailata — the massive former rugby player who became such an intriguing prospect last year — was no longer the heir apparent at left tackle.

Most people would take it as a demotion. And it would be understandable.

Not Mailata.

The good-natured Aussie said he was anything but disappointed when the Eagles picked Dillard out of Washington State with the 22nd pick last month.

“Why would I be?”

Well, maybe it will slow down your route to the field?

“I don’t think it slows down anything,” he said. “I think every year they’re going to choose the best people to draft, and ‘Dre just happened to be one of the best tackles in the draft and obviously you want that. You want that on your team. I want that on my team. I don’t believe it hinders my progression or where they have me on the depth chart. I think it’s just a plus for us that we got ‘Dre, and for me it’s going to make me work harder. He’s a great guy. At the end of the day, it doesn’t hinder my progression.”

One of the more interesting developments of the first week of OTAs was the way the offensive tackle position appears to have evolved.

Mailata may be behind Peters, Johnson and Dillard, but he’s clearly ahead of Halapoulivaati Vaitai, who in the span of 15 months has gone from starting left tackle in a Super Bowl triumph to — at least at practice on Tuesday — a backup guard.

Big V, who played better and better down the stretch in 2017, struggled last year and only took reps at guard during the one open practice so far.

That could obviously change. It’s only May. But it certainly looks right now that Mailata is in the plans at tackle and Vaitai isn’t.

Another interesting development is that Dillard is only taking reps at left tackle, at least for now, and Mailata is working at both left and right tackle.

So if Peters gets hurt — and that’s been a recurring theme recently —  Dillard goes in. But at least for now, Mailata is the No. 2 right tackle. Would the Eagles really go with the untested Mailata, who has never played a meaningful snap of organized football on any level in his life, ahead of Dillard if Johnson got hurt?

Impossible to say at this point.

The one thing we do know is that Mailata is dramatically ahead of where he was last year.

Last year, yeah, it was crazy,” he said. “It’s day and night for me from I walked in last year till now. Everything. Understanding the playbook, understanding the technique — everything. I always think about it. I like to reflect and tell myself how far I’ve come. It’s like night and day. Put the old footage on. Oh God. I was crazy the whole time. I was watching it today. Gives me a chance to reflect how far I’ve come.”

Mailata said he’s almost fully healed from the back injury that landed him on Injured Reserve in December.

Once the pads go on in August, we’ll see how far Mailata really has come and everybody’s role will crystallize.

Mailata is only 21. He’s still got a long way to go, but even with Peters, Johnson and Dillard in the mix, he’s convinced he fits into the Eagles’ long-term plans.

And when you look over and see Big V take reps at guard, you understand why.

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